About The Ibizan Hound


It is believed that the Ibizan Hound is one of the oldest purebred dogs in existence today – dating back at least 5000 years. These prick-eared hounds have been depicted in the tombs of the Ancient Egyptians and were often the theme in Egyptian art.

As the Phoenicians travelled through the Mediterranean region dogs were deposited in different areas, which led to the breed being developed with selected traits that best suited the game being hunted, and their terrain. In the 8th and 9th centuries B.C. the Phoenicians brought the breed to the Balearic Islands, and there they remained, unspoiled for two thousand years. They were bred to hunt rabbits and small game, and are still actively used as rabbit dogs in Spain today.

Fast forward to the modern day, and you will find they were introduced into the UK in 1926 and first shown at Crufts in 1929. Although the breed was first brought into the US in 1956, it wasn’t until 1979 that the AKC recognised the breed, and they made their first appearance at Westminster in 1980. It wasn’t until some time later that the breed made their way ‘down under’ with Australia welcoming their first Ibizans in the mid 80’s, and New Zealand welcoming their first import in 1999.

In most English speaking countries they are known as the Ibizan Hound, and in most European countries, as well as their homeland, they are known as the Podenco Ibicenco. They are also known as Ca Eivissenc in the Spanish provinces and Balearic hound in France’s Provence.

FCI has the breed in Group 5 – Spitz & Primitive Types, whereas in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and of course New Zealand, they are in the Hound Group.


The Ibizan, nicknamed the Beezer by his fans, is a playful and silly, yet affectionate and loyal breed. They are wickedly intelligent and somewhat mischievous, earning them the reputation of being the “Peter Pan” dog. Their sleek, sculptured bodies require the home comforts of a couch or raised bed for comfort. They are by no means an outside dog, particularly in the cooler climates. And, as they feel the cold so easily, any outings in cold weather will require them to wear a coat.

They are an active breed, and will enjoy a couple of 20-30 minute walks or jogs a day. They also relish the opportunity to run full out in a large, safely fenced area. Without regular exercise, the fun of owning an Ibizan will quickly become a nightmare when they become bored and destructive – digging holes, stealing, chewing etc. Due to their hunting methods, Ibizans are able to make 5ft leaps from a standstill, so 6ft fences are required to keep them contained. But of course, not all Ibizans are jumpers, and you won’t know if you have a jumper until they disappear over the fence one day. For this reason, it is important to start on ‘recall’ training from day one. As they are a hunter, they can have a strong prey drive, so introduction to the smaller/furry members of your family at an early stage is of utmost importance. Their long legs and long necks make them excellent counter surfers, so if you don’t have a tidy kitchen, you will soon learn to when you introduce an Ibizan to your home. Even if you think something is out of reach, if it is of enough interest to an Ibizan, they will make it their business to reach it. Owning an Ibizan isn’t all bad though. Although not overly touchy-feely dogs, they do enjoy snuggling with members of their family, and greet you with such enthusiasm when you come into a room (whether you have been gone for five minutes or eight hours). Their intelligence also makes for plenty of opportunity for bonding time, such as obedience, agility and Rally-O.


Although they are categorised as a Sighthound in the US, they use ALL their senses when hunting – sight, scent and hearing. Those big ears aren’t there for decoration! It’s also interesting to know that they will retrieve game live to hand, and are quite ‘soft-mouthed’, much like some gundogs. Hard to believe that despite such a sharp muzzle and tightly fitting lips over teeth, they can have such soft mouths.

Often the first thing you will notice about the Ibizan is the size of their ears, followed by either the pink nose, or amber eyes, which are very expressive. Their movement is also rather eye catching – the far-reaching stride with a slight “hover” before the front paws touch the ground – best described as a suspended trot.

The Ibizan can be quite vocal, and will alert you to visitors with a very deep bark. When out and about, if they come across something they are not sure about, they will “give tongue”. This is also done when they are out hunting and chasing down their prey.

What you may not be aware of, is the fact that the Ibizan comes in two coat types – smooth and wire. Wire is a texture, not a length. The Smooth coat should be hard and slick, and the Wire coat hard and rough, with a slight crimp. Soft and silky is incorrect for either. The degree of Wire coat is determined by the genetic inheritance. A full Wire will have a full beard and facial hair and possibly three inches of coat, whereas at the other end of the spectrum, one may only have rough patches on sternum and back of thighs with very little on the face. There is no preference to Smooth over Wire.

So all-in-all, if you keep a tidy house, have a great sense of humour, high fences and plenty of time to exercise your dog, you might just be suitable for a beezer.

Contact Details

Christine Small
Timaru, NZ
Phone : 027 2411 924
Email : [email protected]